Thursday, May 10, 2007

Howells Queries April-May 2007

Dinner on March 26, 1892

I am in possession of an original menu from what appears to be a dinner held on March 26 1892. there were a number of authors present (edwin booth, g.p.
lathrop, arlo bates, brander matthews, etc), but the Howells was the most notable. I am trying to identify what club, organization, or event hosted this dinner. If anyone can help shed some light on this i would be very grateful.
Sarah Blue
replies to: osarahblue at 5/10/07

"The Unexpected Guest"

I have a small collection of books by William Dean Howells, including The Unexpected Guests, Harper & Brothers, 1893, Illustrated. My interest in Howells stems from his longtime friendship with Kate Douglas Wiggin. This story is hilarious and could have been inspired by one of Kate's dinner parties where Mr. Howells was a guest.

Could you tell me when and where this story first appeared in print?

Thank you for your response.

Glenys Tarlow 5/10/07

Howells's Signature

Hi there, I'm just trying to find some samples of Howells' signature. I have a book by him with two long inscriptions that might be signed twice by Howells??
Thanks for any help.
Bruce 5/10/07

Dr. Breen's Practice: Setting?

One of my readers recently contacted me about a home in Manomet, Massachusetts that she says is the setting of Howells' novel "Dr. Breen's Practice." I am trying to find out if this is true. Do you know if Howells ever summered in Manomet? The quiet beachside village is located about 40 miles from Boston.
If I can find proof, I'd like to write an article about the home, the book, and the author.
Please contact me if you have any information regarding this query.
Thank you,

Casey Meserve 5/10/07 (contact the Howells Society site for contact information)

Howells and Rural Life

I am researching a PhD in post-Civil War rural American fiction, and wondered if there were any suitable novels or short stories by Howells that have a predominantly rural setting or are particularly concerned with rural life?

Mark Storey
aaxms1 at 5/10/07

Howells and Movies

Matthews, Brander. “Are the Movies a Menace to the Drama?” North American Review 205 (Jan./June 1917): 447–54.

In the above cited article (448), Matthews quotes Mr. Howells from an unidentified paper in which he addresses motion pictures :

Howells: "The worst of it is that no one can deny the wonder of this new form of the world-old mime. It is of a truly miraculous power and scope; there seems nothing that it cannot do,--except convince the taste and console the spirit."

Can anyone tell me where I might find the work in which Howells wrote this comment?

W. J. Rable

wrable at 5/10/07

Venetian Novels of WDH

Greetings from the UK

I am currently compiling a Venetian Journal of events there from the founding of the city to the present day, and would very much like some help with WDH. My entry for him says that he was the author of Venetian Life and that "of his thirty-eight novels ??? were set in Venice." Can you tell me how many of his novels do have a Venetian theme? I would be very impressed and even more grateful.

Best wishes

Robert Booth.robertsuzie at 5/10/07

Howells Genealogy

Has anyone done a genealogy of William Dean Howells?

June Farmer
.juneefarmer at aol dot com 4/18/07


Hello folks,

Not being a Howells expert I don't know if this is an old chestnut or not.
A scholar at our campus is trying to determine the origin of the name Zerrilla in The Rise of Silas Lapham). Did Howells make it up from whole cloth, or was there a specific incident or person involved? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes,

Bruce T. Sajdak
North American Co-Editor
ABELL - Annual Bibliography of English Language & Literature

(contact the WDHS site if you would like contact information) 3/31/07


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